Monday, November 17, 2008

"I'm Not a Crook" - Nixon and Watergate

It was on this day, November 18, 1973, before the entire nation, during a televised news conference in response to allegations regarding his involvement in the Watergate scandal that President Richard Nixon declared "I'm not a crook. I earned everything I got. "

This was his attempt at declaring innocence in the whole ordeal.

Nixon continued to deny his involvement in Watergate, even after audio tapes of conversations in the president’s office revealed otherwise. Nixon later resigned from his post as president on August 8, 1974. He resigned shortly after three articles of impeachment were passed. However, Gerald Ford, his successor pardoned him of any wrong doing.

I've always wondered if Nixon really thought he'd be able to talk his way out of it by denying any wrong doing. Did he know they had the tapes on him? And if he did, would he still have said this famous line? Does Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky fiasco fall into the same category? Would admission of guilt from the get-go changed our perception of either of these two ordeals.

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Mike Purdy said...

On July 19, 1972, President Nixon said the following to his White House aide John Ehrlichman: “If you cover up, you're going to get caught. And if you lie you're going to be guilty of perjury. Now basically that was the whole story of the Hiss case. It is not the issue that will harm you; it is the cover-up that is damaging."

If only Nixon had learned from history!

klkatz said...

Thanks Mike,
maybe we don't give nixon enough credit. his advice seemed right on.

Pam Walter said...

It seems that anyone in a position of great power can develop a hubris that blinds them to the fundamental "wrongness" of their actions.

klkatz said...

you're right. power has a way of corrupting. its been repeated over and over and over...

see: Roman Empire, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, George Bush..

who's next??

thanks for reading.

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